09 July 2024

Firms in court accused of corporate manslaughter of pest controllers

09 July 2024

Two companies have appeared in court accused of the corporate manslaughter of two pest controllers who were found dead at a chicken factory.

The bodies of Neil Moon, 49, and 34-year-old Jonathan Collins were discovered at Banham Poultry in Attleborough, Norfolk, in 2018.

Norfolk Police said at the time that a possible refrigeration gas leak was being investigated as a line of inquiry.

Legal representatives for the two companies, Banham Poultry Limited and Air Products plc, appeared at a brief hearing at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

The court was told that a charge of corporate manslaughter is indictable only, meaning the case must be tried in a crown court.

No pleas were asked for at the magistrates’ court, and the case was sent for a hearing at Norwich Crown Court on August 6.

No details about the case were opened.

Mr Moon and Mr Collins, who were found at about 1.10am on October 4 2018, had been working at the Station Road site as pest control subcontractors.

Their deaths were investigated by detectives from the Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team, working alongside the Health and Safety Executive.

Norfolk Police said last month that prosecutors had authorised charges to be brought against two companies.

The force said Banham Poultry Limited, which went into administration in October 2018, is being prosecuted for two counts of corporate manslaughter and two counts of failing to discharge duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Air Products plc is being prosecuted for two counts of corporate manslaughter and one count of failing to discharge duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, police said.

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